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Wal-Mart offering savings for teachers this week

Published 12:30pm Tuesday, July 29, 2014

With school budgets stretched thin, it comes as no surprise that many teachers are forced to reach into their own pockets to pay for classroom supplies that their students will need throughout the school year.

However, one major international corporation is trying to help lessen the financial burden many teachers feel, especially this time of year as schools are preparing to open back up after the summer break.

For the first time ever, Wal-Mart is offering teachers across the country 10 percent savings on classroom supplies. The retailer announced the teacher-exclusive savings event as data shows 53 percent of teachers received less in funding last year.

Teachers who shop at Wal-Mart stores during its Teacher Appreciation Week, July 25 – 31, are eligible to receive a Wal-Mart eGift Card for 10 percent back on nearly 15,000 products – everything from pencils and glue to classroom décor.

“On average, teachers around the country spend about $1,000 readying their classrooms, and half of that comes from reaching into their own wallets to make sure students have what they need,” said Steve Bratspies, executive vice president, general merchandise for Wal-Mart U.S.

“We’ve had a commitment to supporting teachers in the communities we serve for many years. This program is one more way we’re helping lessen the cost, increase support and set teachers up for success.”

Wal-Mart officials said the savings process for teachers is simple:

• Shop Wal-Mart stores for classroom supplies.

• Visit by August 15 to register receipts by entering teacher’s school information and receipt transaction code.

• Savings on eligible items from select departments will be delivered on a Wal-Mart eGift card via e-mail within 14 days of submitting the receipt online.

Local teacher Patrice Smith said she is thankful for any assistance a business is willing to offer because she knows first-hand that getting ready for a new school year can hit the pocketbook hard.

“I think it’s great that a company saw a need and did what they could to fill that need,” Smith said.

“I have spent my own money for my students every single year that I have taught. I do it because I love my job and I love my students. They are my kids and I will do whatever I can to be sure they have what they need.

“I know 10 percent back may not sound like much to most people, but it’s help that will be nice to have. Not only is it a percentage off my bill that will go to my students, but it also shows that Wal-Mart appreciates what we as teachers do, and that means a lot.”

Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Cox agreed.

“I think most people would be shocked to know how much money teachers actually spend on their students,” Cox said, “and it’s not done for recognition or praise, it’s done so that our students can have everything they need to have a successful and enjoyable year.

“We try to keep supply lists as cost efficient as possible, but in the end, this leads to teachers using their own money to buy things their students will need.

“Office Depot runs penny deals during the summer and I know many teachers take advantage of that, and it’s so nice that Wal- Mart is now trying to help out, too. It makes it a lot easier to buy school supplies.”

Cox said the discount will help her not only with supplies she will need in a couple of weeks, but with supplies she will need later on in the school year as well.

“I plan on buying up some supplies to save for the middle to end of the year,” she said.

“We have an abundance of supplies in the beginning, but you start running low in the middle of the year. The cost of school supplies like markers and crayons is much higher later on the year, so I plan on stocking up so I will have plenty throughout the year.”

And on the flip side, Smith said this was also a great thing from a parent’s perspective.

“As a parent, this also means that my daughter’s teachers will be able to do a little more for her and her classmates thanks to this discount,” she said.

“That’s a great feeling to know she will benefit from this as well.”

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